By Brennan Guidry-Card – April 5, 2019
Brennan Cummings, GIS Specialist, customizes maps to fit the individual need of each client. Brennan… (Read More)
Several months ago, my TotaLand team was discussing the upcoming NAPE Expo. A question was presented by my boss. “What ideas can you think of that we can begin to discuss for this NAPE? Something unique and different. Something that will require thinking outside the box.” I do not know what came over me but my hand shot up immediately. Sitting there with a pale face and sweaty palms, scared to do something this big…but also…felt a peace and calm wash over me.
I told my team that I would love to create a TotaLand map that shows all of the areas in the USA that our company has user activity within… but…with an artistic twist. (FYI – I have not picked up a single art supply since my senior year of high school.) But at the time, the whole process and complete vision hadn’t quite come to the forefront of my brain. Basically, I stared at a blank poster board for days. And then – something amazing happened.
I remembered something my high school art teacher told me. He said, “Brennan… you are a very talented artist. But your grades are slipping in my class due to the fact that it takes you so much longer to just START. Stop thinking so hard about it. Just START and watch what will happen.”
So that’s exactly what I did. And the vision, the process, the steps involved, materials needed, etc… all came to mind immediately. I knew what I had to do and how to get from start to finish. If you’re reading this, know that this little personal journey of my NAPE art map may apply to something in your life that is stopping you from what seems impossible.
Trust in yourself. Whatever it is. You can do it. You can create. You can inspire others. You just have to START and the rest will come like a wave of peace.
Hope you all enjoy this as much as I did. The following will show the steps involved as well as the details of the process. This is dedicated to Alan and Michele Day… their constant encouragement and belief in me are what kept me going and kept the fire burning within my heart to accomplish this and have it be something that my whole team is proud of.
And this is exactly what happened with this endeavor. When you have a boss and a team that surrounds you with constant support and encouragement, it only creates more of a desire and a passion to do what you love to do. I’m so blessed to be a part of this TotaLand team.
The following details regarding the creation of this piece were done free handed. This was very important to me from the start. Even though this took longer, it was worth it because I can say with 100% certainty that this is handcrafted by myself alone.
The steps and materials used in the following pictures will show a glimpse into the process. This is a free-hand, abstract creation that will help show the intended idea behind all of this – that artwork and mapping can both co-exist.
The first step was to use a paper print out of the states. This paper print out was a different size than my poster board. I did this intentionally in order to use a mathematical blocking technique for the poster board. I then used the gridding system to give me the accurate dimensions to freehand sketch the outer boundary of the states. I used a level for my lines, a light pencil on the poster board, and then began to create squares that you will see in the following…
In these images, you can show how the gridding/blocking system worked and once that was done- I began to sketch out the states.
Continued to freehand sketch until the entire boundary for all states was drawn…
Next step was to begin erasing all the pencil lines around the outside and inner portions.
The interior areas are the parishes, counties, and boroughs that TL has users within. This was just the beginning of sketching out those areas (featured below).
Now it’s starting to become an empty canvas with only the state outlines.
For this next step…I used a certain type of WaterColors that are actually PencilColors in order to begin creating that abstract effect. This was a bit tricky because most of the time, the color I began with and the color(s) in the completed state ended up being completely different from start to finish. I also used a white paint marker to create a gap between each. It really makes the states pop.
In the example below… the states are completed and in the next step- I began to use a little bit of water-based paint to make sure all o the background has that slightly darker shade of cream than the stark white between the states.
In the next step- I re-used the old print out from early on to begin sketching out all of the areas that we have user activity.
In the final phase… I used adhesive along with gold leafing to really create a nice textured effect while also allowing the TL user areas to pop.
TotaLand is proudly assisting our users within 620 counties, 62 parishes, 31 states…And growing!
With TotaLand, you can log on from any internet connection and have all of your work at your fingertips – no more tracking down people to get updates. We’ve simplified and streamlined the mundane tasks associated with field land work, so you can spend more time on what matters.
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